Football Read Review: The Club – a book that had to be written

THERE’S A LOT of very fine football books in circulation at present, ranging from the fairly disposable “fan lit” to books about some of the trends impacting the game, such as data, tactics, finance and culture. The Club, by Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg, explains how the Premier League rose to become the most disruptive sporting business in the world. The league’s origins, which we … Continue reading Football Read Review: The Club – a book that had to be written

Polarised Premier League almost a £ 5 billion business

IT IS true what they say: the rich and powerful rise to the top, the also-rans struggle for scraps from the table. The Premier League, in 2017-18, generated record revenues of £ 4.8 billion, an increase of 6% over the 2016-17 season. While this hints at a healthy, affluent league, it should be noted that the gap between the top six clubs and the rest … Continue reading Polarised Premier League almost a £ 5 billion business

La Liga’s big challenge

SPAIN’s La Liga may have lost Cristiano Ronaldo to Serie A, but it is well placed to deal with the inevitable transition that will take place once the other member of the celebrated duopoly, Lionel Messi, also moves on. KPMG Football Benchmark’s latest paper looks at how the league has been internationalising itself to broaden the appeal of Spanish football. Ronaldo and Messi have dominated … Continue reading La Liga’s big challenge

Farewell Albert Sewell, the man who invented the classic programme

HOW sad to hear of the passing of Albert Sewell, Chelsea fan, programme guru, statistician and, above all, a genuine football fan. Albert Sewell, in the late 1940s, initiated a magazine-style programme at Chelsea, the first club to change the way football communicated with its fans. Sewell’s trail-blazing publication was soon copied by all and sundry and Chelsea had an incredible record for selling a … Continue reading Farewell Albert Sewell, the man who invented the classic programme

Commentary Box: Do I blame this TV age?

SO it went something like this. I excitably booked a ticket to see Paris St. Germain with Zlatan in his pomp. I couldn’t wait as I considered that the controversial, arrogant and quite brilliant Swede was one of the best players in the world. I paid for my flights, got my hotel and I was ready to go. Then, about a week before I was … Continue reading Commentary Box: Do I blame this TV age?

International ownership – get used to it

IT IS a reasonable assumption that the Premier League’s power has been enhanced by an influx of overseas investment over the past 20 years. English domestic football has come a long way from the old days of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers to become the toy of tycoons, money sourced from oil,  privatisation initiatives, opportunism and just sheer good business acumen. The football club boardroom has … Continue reading International ownership – get used to it

Unless you’re committed, life can be dull in those pricey seats

I CAME home from Bern in Switzerland after seeing a game that comprised non-stop action and nine goals. My wife asked me if I had enjoyed it and I had to admit that it had been one of the better 90 minutes I’d seen in a while. I then worked out that over the past year, I had seen something like 55 games and I … Continue reading Unless you’re committed, life can be dull in those pricey seats

UEFA’s China Crisis

IT HURTS clubs like Inter, AC Milan, Liverpool and Manchester United to be excluded from the UEFA Champions League, especially in this age of bloated elitism. There was a time when you had to earn a place in UEFA’s leading club competitions, either by winning your domestic league or cup or, if you finished second or third, you might get a UEFA Cup berth. But … Continue reading UEFA’s China Crisis

Non-league, the “slice of life”

WE live in an age where everyone’s a journalist or blogger, anyone can make a film or video and we all want news and information (getting them to pay for it is another story, though). Social media rules the waves and basically, there’s virtually no-one who doesn’t have a story to tell you. So should we be that surprised that suddenly, there seems to be … Continue reading Non-league, the “slice of life”

The Premier and the NBA – It’s a worry

In the old days, when life was simpler, teams competed against each other. There were exceptions – the Football League used to play the Scottish League in contests known as “Inter-League games”. They were poor-man’s internationals. Today, the major leagues of Europe are competing with each other for financial opportunities and TV rights. And at the moment, league officials in Spain, Italy, Germany and France … Continue reading The Premier and the NBA – It’s a worry

The bubble just keeps inflating

Apparently, when people talk about what makes them proud of Britain, they will respond, “The Premier League, the BBC and the Queen”. These were the words used by Richard Scudamore, the Premier League’s Chief Executive in response to the surprise/delight/outrage/disbelief (delete where appropriate) reaction to the record £ 5.14bn TV deal being trousered by the league. What a load of nonsense. For every person who … Continue reading The bubble just keeps inflating